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INNERMOST RITE OF EGYPTIAN TEMPLES    177
He refers to the goal of the Mysteries of Isis as follows: "By these means they may be the better prepared for the attainment of the knowledge of the First and Supreme Mind, whom the Goddess exhorts them to search after. For this reason is her temple called Iseion, alluding to that knowledge of the eternal and self-existent Being which may thus be obtained, if it be properly approached."
So much for Grecian Plutarch. What has Syrian lamblichus to say on those Mysteries of Egypt into which he was initiated?
"The essence and perfection of all good are comprehended in the gods, and the first and ancient power of them is with us priests. A knowledge of the gods is accompanied with a conversion to, and knowledge of, ourselves. I say therefore that the more divine part of man, which was formerly united to the gods by being aware of their existence, afterwards entered into another state and became fettered with the bonds of necessity and fate. Hence it is requisite to consider how he may be loosed from these bonds. There is, therefore, no other dissolution of them than the knowledge of the gods. This is the aim of the Egyptians in the priestly lifting of the soul to divinity."
Another initiate was Produs.    Let him speak too:
"In all initiations and Mysteries, the gods exhibit many forms of themselves, and sometimes indeed an unfigured light of themselves is held forth to the view; sometimes this light is figured according to human form, and sometimes it proceeds into a different shape. Some of the figures are not gods, and excite alarm."
What was the testimony of the noble philosopher Plato?
"In consequence of this divine initiation we became spectators of single and blessed visions, resident in a pure light; and were ourselves made immaculate and liberated from this surrounding garment which we call the body and to which we are now bound like an oyster to its shell." He asserted, too, that the ultimate aim of the Mysteries was to lead men back no the principles from which the race originally fell.
Homer, who had been initiated, could write in the Odyssey the following invitation to his readers:
"Haste, let us fly and all our sails expand, To gain our dear, our long-lost native land."
Which was the poet's way of expressing Plato's thought.